HRCP asks govt to protect Ahmadis
LAHORE: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Friday expressed concern at the murder of two Ahmadis in the last three days and reports of denial of shelter to members of the Ahmadiyya community displaced by massive floods in south Punjab.
In a press statement, HRCP called upon the government to take urgent measures to ensure there is no discrimination on the basis of belief and that assistance and protection are not denied to a community that faces specific threats.
“The unrelenting targeted killing of members of the Ahmadiyya community by extremists is a poor reflection on the state’s obligation to protect the lives of all subjects. This week, the murder of an Ahmadi in Sanghar and another, a doctor, in Karachi only highlights the impunity the perpetrators of such heinous crimes enjoy. Only bringing the culprits to justice and promoting tolerance in society will bring an end to these senseless killings and give Ahmadis confidence that they can lead peaceful lives as equal citizens of Pakistan.
“HRCP is shocked by reports that government officials and local clerics have refused to provide shelter to around 500 flood-affected Ahmadi families from Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffargarh and Rajanpur districts.
“The commission has noted with concern reports of lack of provision of relief goods to flood-affected Ahmadi families, expulsion of displaced Ahmadis from a government school in Dera Ghazi Khan and rented lodgings elsewhere in southern Punjab after clerics’ pressure as well as issuance of edicts by clerics that affected Ahmadis must not be provided help.“HRCP reiterates the urgent need for distribution of relief goods and extension of other support to the affected people without any discrimination on the basis of faith or gender. The fact that Ahmadis are a vulnerable community on account of their religious beliefs must lead to specific assistance and protection measures for them, including protection of lives and property.
“The extensive scale of displacement and destruction by massive floods has understandably stretched the resources of the government to their very limits. However, it is hoped that whatever little is available from any source will be distributed among those in need without discrimination on the basis of religious belief. It would be a greater tragedy than the devastation caused by the floods if people cannot find enough humanity and compassion in their hearts to rise above personal biases to help fellow human beings that are in desperate need of help.”